Denali fault slip rates and Holocene-late Pleistocene kinematics of central Alaska

A. Matmon*, D. P. Schwartz, P. J. Haeussler, R. Finkel, J. J. Lienkaemper, H. D. Stenner, T. E. Dawson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


The Denali fault is the principal intracontinental strike-slip fault accommodating deformation of interior Alaska associated with the Yakutat plate convergence. We obtained the first quantitative late Pleistocene-Holocene slip rates on the Denali fault system from dating offset geomorphic features. Analysis of cosmogenic 10Be concentrations in boulders (n = 27) and sediment (n = 13) collected at seven sites, offset 25-170 m by the Denali and Totschunda faults, gives average ages that range from 2.4 ± 0.3 ka to 17.0 ± 1.8 ka. These offsets and ages yield late Pleistocene-Holocene average slip rates of 9.4 ± 1.6, 12.1 ± 1.7, and 8.4 ± 2.2 mm/yr-1 along the western, central, and eastern Denali fault, respectively, and 6.0 ± 1.2 mm/yr-1 along the Totschunda fault. Our results suggest a westward decrease in the mean Pleistocene-Holocene slip rate. This westward decrease likely results from partitioning of slip from the Denali fault system to thrust faults to the north and west.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)645-648
Number of pages4
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Cosmogenic isotopes
  • Denali fault
  • Offset moraines
  • Slip rates


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